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06:38, 18 September 2014 Thursday
09:55, 02 August 2012 Thursday

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US opposes Turkish exercises near Syria border
US opposes Turkish exercises near Syria border

U.S. State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell has said that the Washington did not think that Turkey's further military build-up on the border with Syria was "a right way to go."

World Bulletin / News Desk

U.S. State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell has said that the Washington did not think that Turkey's further military build-up on the border with Syria was "a right way to go."

Turkey's army staged tank exercises near the Syrian border on Wednesday, Turkish officials said, in a move highlighting Ankara's unease about security on the frontier.

The exercises were held after a series of Turkish military deployments to the area prompted by the spiralling violence in the 17-month uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. There is no indication Turkish forces will cross the border.

"We continue to think that we do not want further militarize the situation. We obviously understand that they (Turkey) have their national security interest as well, but we do not think that further militarization right now is the way to go," Ventrell told a daily press conference in Washington.

Recalling that the Washington had been in discussion with Turkey all constantly on Syria, Ventrell stated that they were continuing to have full and robust dialogue with Turkish counterparts.

"I think where we are right now is that the opposition continues to gain ground and start to hold greater territory, but I do not think we are at a point where we are going to see - or we are hearing greater calls for immediate external military operations into Syria," said Ventrell replying a question over he expected any military operation by Turks.

Noting that the U.S. in agreement with the Ankara, " Obviously we are very much on the same page with them in terms of assisting the rebels and providing the kind of support to their organizational capacity and otherwise. So I think we are in close and constant communication with the Turks," said Ventrell.

NATO-member Turkey has warned any attack emanating from a PKK presence in northern Syria could give it reason to intervene. Ankara has repeatedly bombed and sent troops into parts of Kurdish-run northern Iraq where the PKK has camps.

The military manoeuvres coincided with intense clashes between the military and the PKK further east around the town of Semdinli, right on the mountainous border with Iraq and Iran. Media reports say up to 40 PKK militants have been killed in the clashes there over the last week.



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